What Is A Police Welfare Check? (How To Get A Wellness Check)

Police Wellness Check - Wellness Check Police - What Is A Welfare Check - What Is A Wellness Check - How To Get A Wellness Check On Someone - Can You Refuse A Welfare Check

What is a police welfare check? 

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • what a police welfare check is
  • how to get a police wellness check
  • who to call to request a wellness check
  • what info you need to gather first
  • what reasons will police do a wellness check for
  • how long until you hear back from a wellness check
  • if you can refuse a wellness check
  • if cops can force their way into a home for a wellness check
  • how to stop wellness checks

Let’s dig in. 

Table of Contents

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What Is A Police Welfare Check?

A police welfare check is when law enforcement officers visit someone’s home to verify their well-being. 

This usually happens when someone raises concerns about that person’s health or safety. 

The reasons could range from the person:

  • not being heard from for an extended period
  • showing signs of distress
  • having health issues

During the welfare check, police assess the person’s condition and can connect them to social services or medical help if necessary. 

It’s a crucial tool to ensure the safety and welfare of individuals, especially those who are vulnerable.

How To Get A Wellness Check On Someone

Here are the steps to get a welfare check on someone:

  1.  Identify the Reason: Understand why you need a welfare check. It might be due to concerns about physical health, mental state, or someone not answering calls or messages.
  2. Collect Necessary Information: Gather the person’s full name, address, and important details about why you’re worried.
  3. Contact Local Authorities: Call your local non-emergency police or sheriff’s department. Avoid calling 911 unless it’s an immediate emergency.
  4. Request a Wellness Check: Explain your concerns to the dispatcher and provide the information you collected. Request them to perform a wellness check.
  5. Wait for Feedback: The police will visit the person’s home and assess the situation. Depending on privacy laws, they may give you an update after the check.
  6. Follow-up Actions: If the police find that the person needs help, they have the capacity to connect them with social services or medical professionals.

Who Do You Call For A Wellness Check?

For a welfare check, call your local non-emergency police or sheriff’s department. 

This is the correct agency to handle these types of requests. 

Be sure not to use emergency numbers like 911 unless there’s an immediate danger. 

Explain your concerns to the dispatcher and provide all the necessary information. 

They will then arrange for officers to visit the person’s home to check on their well-being.

What Information Do You Need To Have When You Call For A Welfare Check?

When you call authorities to request a wellness check, you should have the following information ready:

  • Full Name: The full legal name of the person you’re concerned about.
  • Address: The complete residential address where the person is staying.
  • Relationship: Your relationship to the person (friend, family, neighbor, etc.)
  • Reasons for Concern: Clear reasons for your concern. This could include observations or specific events that have led you to believe the person may be in danger or unwell.
  • Last Contact: The last time you had any contact or communication with them.
  • Other Identifying Information: Any additional information that could be helpful, such as their age, physical description, car details, or whether they live with someone else.
  • Health Information: If available and relevant, share any known health issues, mental or physical, that the person might be dealing with.

What Are The Reasons Police Do Welfare Checks?

Police perform welfare checks when they receive information that raises concerns about an individual’s well-being. 

Here are some common reasons the police will do a welfare check:

  • No Contact: If a person hasn’t been seen or heard from in a while and isn’t responding to attempts at communication.
  • Age or Illness: The person is elderly, ill, or has a disability, and there are concerns about their ability to take care of themselves.
  • Mental Health Concerns: If someone may be dealing with severe mental health issues, potentially putting themselves or others at risk.
  • Threats or Signs of Harm: If there are indications the person might harm themselves or others.
  • Suspicious Activity: If there’s activity at a person’s residence that seems out of the ordinary or suspicious.

How Long Will It Take For The Cops To Show Up After You Submit A Request For A Wellness Check?

The time it takes for police to respond to a wellness check request can vary. 

Factors that affect how long it takes police to show up include:

  • how busy they are with other calls
  • the perceived urgency of the situation
  • the resources available in the area 

While it’s difficult to give a specific timeframe, in general, you can expect the police to respond as soon as they’re able. 

It could range from a few minutes to a couple of hours. 

If the situation becomes more urgent, don’t hesitate to call back and provide any new information.

Read More: Rights Police Don’t Want You To Know About

Who Can You Request A Police Wellness Check For?

You can request a welfare check for anyone you are genuinely concerned about. This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Family Members: If a family member is not responding to attempts at communication and it’s out of the ordinary, you might request a welfare check.
  • Friends: If you can’t get in touch with a friend and you have reasons to be concerned for their wellbeing, you can request a check.
  • Neighbors: If your neighbor hasn’t been seen for a while, and you’re concerned for their safety, you can request a check.
  • Elderly Persons: For older individuals who live alone or have health issues, a welfare check can ensure they are safe and healthy.
  • Children: If you suspect neglect, abuse, or any danger toward a child, you can request a welfare check.
  • Individuals with Disabilities or Health Issues: For people with mental health issues, physical disabilities, or serious illnesses, a welfare check can ensure they’re okay.

How To Request A Police Wellness Check On A Child Or Elderly Person

Requesting a welfare check on a child or elderly person is not any different. 

You’ll just need to have your reasons ready for why you’re requesting a welfare check for them. 

Here are the steps to request a police welfare check for an elderly person or child:

  1. Identify Concerns: Recognize why you are worried about the child or elderly person. It could be due to sudden silence, odd behavior, or signs of distress.
  2. Collect Information: Prepare the person’s full name, their home address, and any critical details that are causing your concern.
  3. Contact Local Authorities: Dial the non-emergency number for your local police or sheriff’s department. Only use 911 if there’s an immediate danger to the person’s safety.
  4. Request a Wellness Check: Share your concerns about the child or elderly person with the dispatcher and ask them to perform a wellness check.
  5. Offer Extra Information: Provide any relevant details that could influence the person’s well-being, like known health issues, mobility restrictions, or living conditions.
  6. Wait for Feedback: Police will visit the person’s home to assess their well-being. They might give you feedback based on local laws and the person’s privacy rights.
  7. Follow-Up Actions: If help is required, police can connect the child or elderly person to social services or medical aid.

Can You Refuse A Welfare Check?

Yes, you can refuse a welfare check. 

If the police arrive for a welfare check, you have the right to not let them in, unless they have a warrant

However, if they have reasonable grounds to believe someone is in immediate danger or in need of assistance, they may enter the property without consent. 

If you’re fine and you communicate this clearly to the officers, they will typically leave and report back to the person who requested the check, respecting your privacy rights.

Read More: Can You Tell Cops To Get Off Your Property

Can Police Force Entry For A Welfare Check?

Yes, police can force entry for a welfare check, but it’s typically a last resort. 

If police have a strong reason to believe someone is in immediate danger or in need of assistance, and they’re not responding to knocks or calls, they may decide to enter the property. 

This decision is based on the specific circumstances of the situation, the urgency of the perceived risk, and local laws and departmental policies.

How To Stop Wellness Checks

If wellness checks are being performed on you and you wish to stop them, follow these steps:

  1. Contact Local Authorities: Call the local non-emergency police or sheriff’s department who has been conducting the checks.
  2. Explain the Situation: Inform them that you are the subject of the wellness checks and express your desire for the checks to stop. Be clear and assertive in your communication.
  3. Provide Identification: You might need to verify your identity for them to process your request.
  4. Ask for Written Confirmation: Request documentation or written confirmation that the wellness checks have been cancelled. This will give you a record of your request.
  5. Speak with the Requester: If you know who requested the checks, speak with them directly about your wish to stop the wellness checks.
  6. Legal Assistance: If the wellness checks continue against your wishes, you may need to seek help from a legal professional to address the issue.

Always remember to be respectful in your interactions.

And understand that wellness checks are intended for safety and protection.

Does A Wellness Check Go On Your Record?

A wellness check, in most cases, does not go on your personal record. 

Wellness checks are typically welfare-oriented actions meant to ensure a person’s safety and wellbeing. 

They are not criminal investigations and generally do not result in a formal legal record. 

However, the police may keep an internal note or log of the visit as part of their administrative process. 

This information is usually not publicly accessible and does not appear in criminal background checks.

FAQs About Police Welfare Checks

Here are other questions related to police wellness checks. 

When Does A Wellness Check Become Harassment?

A wellness check can become harassment if it’s done repeatedly without legitimate concern for someone’s well-being. 

If someone uses wellness checks to annoy, intimidate, or invade another person’s privacy, it crosses into harassment. 

Misusing this service can lead to legal consequences. 

Authorities should only be contacted for genuine concerns about a person’s safety or health. 

Respect for privacy and the intent of the welfare check system is crucial.

Can You Find Out Who Called A Welfare Check On You?

In most cases, the police do not disclose the identity of the person who requested a welfare check. 

They maintain this confidentiality to protect individuals who may be concerned about a person’s well-being. 

However, there may be circumstances where this information could be disclosed, particularly if there’s a legal need for it. 

Ultimately, the specifics of when this information is shared can vary based on local policies and regulations.

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